Not pretending anymore

“You won’t do anybody any good by pretending to be less than who you are.” – Nora Walker

I am a master chameleon. I spent much of my life moving and being the new kid in town. Now I am finally at a place in my life, almost 40 years old, where I am trying to become who I am, to emerge from my self-imposed protective cocoon. I have spent far too many years being what I thought I was supposed to be, a “good girl,” pleasing people — partly because I genuinely enjoy being with other people and making them happy but often, to be honest, because I was afraid. I dislike conflict and prefer harmony. It is easier to change or subtly hide my opinions to match those of others,  to portray my own complexity in a way that makes me seem un-threatening, or just internally to quash dissent and not even realize until later than I had changed my colors again.

I am done doing that. But it is not easy to change your colors, especially when you are not entirely sure which color(s) you really are …

Can I have a firm core of values, beliefs, hopes and dreams that guide me, yet also be open to change, to my own seeming contradictions and complexities, to the ways I am truly both/and – not because I am playing it safe, but because I really treasure different parts of my own life journey that make me who I am and do not want to excise all the parts that don’t quite seem to fit.

This blog is part of that process of figuring out what I believe and who I am now in this time and place. I hope sharing my journey will help others as well.

 

About jhelenadams

Writer, minister, historian-in-training, wife, mother, teacher. I love reading, traveling, learning languages, drawing, dance, running, being outdoors, and recently discovered the joys and challenges of sewing my own clothes. Born in New England, I spent my childhood meandering the country and crossing the oceans with my peripatetic mother. I have lived in Europe for more than a decade, but have been shaped, enriched, haunted by each of the places I have called "home," and grieved them when I left.
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